Critical thinking in research

a methods seminar/lecture

Syllabus, tests and selected bibliography

prof. Włodzimierz Sobkowiak


1. Scientific knowledge and critical thinking

science/research, rationality, critical thinking, axiology, facts>data>information>knowledge>wisdom, truth

2. Reading up and getting in touch

what (not) to read, bibliographies and abstracts, conferences and proceedings, (social) networking, Internet

3. Defining and describing

types and fallacies of definition, essentialism, qualitative vs quantitative description, descriptive statistics

4. Observing and experimenting

experiment vs observation, observer's paradox, ethical issues, questionnaires, artifact, sampling, reliability, validity

5. Abstracting and discovering

idealization: facts vs data, heuristic strategies, nature of insight

6. Hypothesizing and explaining

explanation/justification/falsification, causal vs teleological, deduction/induction/abduction, fallacies of inference, syllogism

7. Erring and criticizing

logical and pragmatic fallacies, types of criticism, reviewing, reactions to criticism

8. Arguing and writing up

literature review, method and subjects, data protocols, abstracting, style and terminology, (cross)referencing and indexing, bibliography, copyright and plagiarism, text-editing

9. Presenting and promoting

written vs oral presentation, presentation skills, self-promotion

Last update: September 8th, 2014


Passing the final test is required for course completion. The test is entirely based on the content and interaction of the meetings. No extraneous literature is required. This means that absences cannot be redeemed by doing some extra assignment or test. On the other hand, I keep no count of absences, so it is theoretically possible (if unlikely) to pass the final test without physically attending the course. My advice to students missing some meetings is: collect as much information about the proceeedings of the missed meeting as possible; use Moodle, colleagues' notes, read the materials posted on-line, make an adio/video recording of the meeting, use any method you can to find out what we did in-session. A number of past final-credit tests are posted on the course's website. These can be helpful in tuning your thinking to critical waves present in the seminar :-).

Selected bibliography (old BFN library call numbers in brackets)

---.1987. Filozofia a nauka. Zarys encyklopedyczny. Wrocław: Ossolineum.

Angelil-Carter,S. 2000. Stolen language? Plagiarism in writing. London: Longman. [Lt, Ang 1]

Anshen,F.1978. Statistics for linguists. Rowley,Mass.: Newbury House Publishers, Inc. [Lg, Ans 1]

Audi,R. 1999. The Cambridge dictionary of philosophy [2nd ed.]. Cambridge: CUP. [MD,CamDP 1]

Bell,J.1996. Doing your research project: a guide for first time researchers in education and social science. Buckingham: Open University Press. [Lm,Bel 1,2]

Bocheński,J.M.1992. Współczesne metody myślenia [especially chapters 4 & 5]. Poznań: W Drodze.

Bogdan,R.C. & S.K.Biklen 1992. Qualitative research for education: an introduction to theory and methods. Boston,Mass.: Allyn & Bacon. [Lm,Bog 1]

Booth,W.C., G.G.Colomb & J.M.Williams. 1995. The craft of research. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. [J,Var 305]

Bowman,L. 2004. Writing tutorial for teachers and students.

Butler,C.1985. Statistics in linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell. ( [Lg,Butl 3]

Cohen,L.M & L.Manion. 1991. Research methods in education. London: Routledge.[La,Cohen 1]

Tim van Gelder's Critical thinking on the web page.

The Critical Thinking Community.

Davis,M. & G.Fry. 1997. Scientific papers and presentations. San Diego: Academic Press. [Lt,DavisM 1]

Dunleavy,P. 2003. Authoring a PhD. Houndmills: Palgrave.

Edwards,P.(ed.).1967. The encyclopedia of philosophy. New York: Macmillan Publishing Co, Inc. & The Free Press. [ME 165-168]

Finch,G. 1998. How to study linguistics. London: Macmillan.[Lm, Fin 1]

Fisher,R. 1999. Uczymy się myśleć. Warszawa: WSiP. [La,Fis 1]

Gambarelli,G. & Z.Łucki. 1998. Jak przygotować pracę dyplomową lub doktorską. Kraków: Universitas. [LD85802]

Gile,D. 2001. Getting started in interpreting research. Amsterdam: Benjamins. [Lm,Gett 1]

Góralski,A. 1987. Metody opisu i wnioskowania statystycznego w psychologii i pedagogice. Warszawa: PWN.

Griffee,D.T. 2012. An Introduction to second language research methods – design and data.

Griffin,G. (ed.). 2005. Research methods for English studies. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Hammerl,R. & J.Sambor.1990. Statystyka dla językoznawców. Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego.[LC33236]

Harré,R. & R.Harris. 1993. Linguistics and philosophy. Oxford: Pergamon Press. [Lg,LinP 1]

Hatch,E.M. & H.Farhady.1982. Research design and statistics for applied linguistics. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House Publishers, Inc. [Lm,Hat 1-4]

Hatch,E.M. & A.Lazaraton. 1992. The research manual: design and statistics for applied linguistics. Cambridge: CUP.

Hitchcock,G.1995. Research and the teacher: a qualitative introduction to school-based research. London: Routledge. [Lm,Hit 1]

Hopkins,D.1996. A teacher's guide to classroom research. Buckingham: Open University Press. [La,Hop 1]

Horn,R.E. Traps of traditional logic & dialectics: what they are and how to avoid them.

Johnson,K. 2008. Quantitative methods in linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell. [LN590, LF29599]

Jones,S. 2006. Just what the Ph.D ordered: developing a strategic plan for the first 18 months of your doctoral program. Birmingham, Alabama: Spare Not Publishing. [LX76122]

Kahane,H. & N.Cavender. 1998. Logic and contemporary rhetoric. Belmont,CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Kochan,M. 2005. Pojedynek na słowa. Techniki erystyczne w publicznych sporach. Kraków: Znak. [LF28661]

Krajewski,W. 1998. Prawa nauki. Przegląd zagadnień metodologicznych i filozoficznych. Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza.

Larsen-Freeman,D. & M.H.Long (eds). 1994. An introduction to second language acquisition research. London: Longman. [Lm,Lar 1-17]

Lau,J. 2003. A Mini Guide to Critical Thinking. Hong Kong University: Department of Philosophy. [Lm,Lau 1]

Lee,I. 2005. A research Guide for Students

Lehmann,S. 2001. A quick introduction to logic. University of Connecticut. [Lm,Leh 1]

Lepieje metodologiczne, by WS.

Łobocki,M. 1999. Wprowadzenie do metodologii badań pedagogicznych. Kraków: Impuls. [Lm,Lob 1]

Majchrzak,J. & T.Mendel. 1999. Metodyka pisania prac magisterskich i dyplomowych. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Akademii Ekonomicznej.

McDonough,J. 1997. Research methods for English language teachers. London: Edward Arnold. [La,McDon 2]

Minium,E.W. 1978. Statistical reasoning in psychology and education. New York: John Wiley & Sons. [Lm,Min 1]

Młyniec,W. & S.Ufnalska. 2003. Scientific communication, czyli jak pisać i prezentować prace naukowe. Poznań: Sorus. [Lm,Mły 1]

Nunan,D.1992. Research methods in language learning. Cambridge: The University Press. [Lm,Nun 1-9]

Oliver,P. 1999. Jak pisać prace uniwersyteckie. Poradnik dla studentów. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. [J,Var 314]

Pawłowski,T.1978. Tworzenie pojęć i definiowanie w naukach humanistycznych. Warszawa: PWN. [LD89684]

Pilch,T. 1995. Zasady badań pedagogicznych. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Żak.

Pioterek,P. & B.Zieleniecka. 1997. Technika pisania prac dyplomowych. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Wyższej Szkoły Bankowej.

Rietveld,T. & R.van Hout. 1993. Statistical techniques for the study of language and language behaviour. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. [Lm,Rie 1-2]

Ruchlis,H. 1999. Jak myśleć logicznie. Praktyczne wprowadzenie Warszawa: Książka i Wiedza.

Schopenhauer,A.1976[1864]. Erystyka czyli sztuka prowadzenia sporów. Kraków: Wydawnictwo Literackie. [also on-line as Die Kunst, Recht zu behalten - The Art Of Controversy]

Sherman,R. & R.Webb (eds). 1995. Qualitative research in education : focus and methods. London: The Falmer Press.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Such,J. & M.Szcześniak.1998. Filozofia nauki. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Naukowe UAM. [LF19825]

Sutherland-Smith,W. 2008. Plagiarism, the Internet and student learning. New York: Routledge.

Szkutnik,Z. 2005. Metodyka pisania pracy dyplomowej. Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskie.

Tarone,E., S.Gass and A.Cohen.1994. Research methodology in second language acquisition. Hillsdale,NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Trochim,W.M. 2004. The web center for social research methods.

Wegener,D. 2009. "10 Things New Scholars should do to get published".

Wei,L. & M.G.Moyer. 2008. Blackwell guide to research methods in bilingualism and multilingualism.Wiley-Blackwell. [LF29857]

Wisker,G. 2001. The postgraduate research handbook. Houndmills: Palgrave.

Woods,A.,P.Fletcher & A.Hughes. 1986. Statistics in English studies. Cambridge: The University Press. [Lg, Wood 1,2]

Wray,A., A.Bloomer & K.Trott. 1998. Projects in linguistics: A practical guide to researching language. London: Arnold. [Lg,Wra 1]

Zaczyński,W. 2000. Praca badawcza nauczyciela. Warszawa: WSiP. [La,Zac 1]

Last update: 8th September 2014